The Health and Environment Alliance welcomes a new scientific study published in Lancet Planetary Health by researchers at Aberdeen and Örebro Universities that indicates PFAS affect people as early as in the fetal stage of development.
46 European civil society organisations urgently demand EU member states and the Commission to ban all PFAS in consumer products by 2025 and across all uses by 2030.
Two years ago, the European Commission published its Chemicals Strategy for Sustainability including a commitment to phase out per- and polyfluorinated alkyl substances, PFAS (also known as ‘forever chemicals’) in all non-essential uses . Now is the time to fulfil this commitment and show to the rest of the world that phasing out PFAS is possible.
PFAS pollution is out of control and exposure to several forever chemicals has been linked to an array of adverse health impacts, from liver damage to reduced response to routine vaccination by children and certain cancers [2, 3]. PFAS have contaminated the entire planet and are found in the bodies of most people around the globe .
Even before birth, babies are already exposed to PFAS in their mother’s womb. PFAS enter our bodies via our food, drinking water and consumer articles used on a daily basis, such as personal care products and food packaging. In Europe, 14% of teenagers have PFAS levels in their bodies exceeding health recommendations .
“We’re talking about a group of entirely human-made chemicals that didn’t exist on the planet a century ago and have now contaminated every single corner. No one gave their consent to be exposed to these harmful chemicals, we haven’t had the choice to opt out and now we have to live with this toxic legacy for decades to come. The very least we can do is to stop adding to this toxic burden by banning PFAS use and production now,” says Dr. Julie Schneider, PFAS campaigner at CHEM Trust.
To underline this demand 46 health and environmental civil society groups have launched the Ban PFAS manifesto. It lists 10 demands and calls on authorities and companies to stop adding to the PFAS pollution burden and address the existing one.
Signatories of the manifesto urge EU authorities to act immediately, and invite European civil society organisations to support their call for action by adding their name to the Ban PFAS Manifesto.
Karolína Brabcová, campaign manager at the Czech NGO Arnika, said: “The most sensible strategy is to start by banning PFAS in consumer products such as food packaging, cosmetics and clothing to stop this daily route of exposure for millions of people in Europe. The Commission and EU member states should keep their promise and proceed swiftly with their proposal to ban PFAS as an entire group, ideally by 2025 for uses in consumer products.”